Leparoux Posts Career Win 2,000 at Churchill

Jockey Julien Leparoux rode In My Time to a one-length win in the ninth race Wednesday, Oct. 29, at Churchill Downs to secure his 2,000th career win (VIDEO).

It took Leparoux, a 31-year-old native of Senlis, France, 18 attempts to land the milestone since capturing win No. 1,999 Oct. 24 at Keeneland.

“I’m glad we got it out of the way; now we can focus on the next wins and the Breeders’ Cup,” said Leparoux, who has five Breeders’ Cup mounts Friday, Oct. 31, and SaturdayNov. 1, at Santa Anita Park.

“For the past nine years that I’ve been riding, it’s been an interesting journey,” Leparoux said. I’ve been able to ride so many good horses and have won so many races. The main thing is to stay safe and healthy and try to keep winning races, that’s it.”

Leparoux, the son of the late jockey and trainer Robert Leparoux, dreamed of becoming a jockey while growing up in Chantilly, France. He rode competitive hunter/jumpers until his father allowed him to begin a racing career at age 18.

In January 2003, Leparoux came to the U.S. and worked as an exercise rider for trainer Patrick Biancone. As Leparoux’s riding talents became evident, the French trainer made Leparoux his first-call rider in August 2005 at Saratoga Race Course when he took out his jockey’s license.

Leparoux rode his first winner in his third mount on Aug. 18, 2005 aboard Easter Guardian in a Saratoga maiden special weight. In nine years, he’s ridden
Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88397/leparoux-posts-career-win-2000-at-churchill#ixzz3HayuU4I7

Weanling Daughter of Champion Zenyatta Dies

Weanling Daughter of Champion Zenyatta Dies

The team connected to champion Zenyatta reported a saddening loss Oct. 29 when a weanling War Front   filly out of the 2010 Horse of the Year was euthanized following a paddock accident at Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky.

“We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Zenyatta’s filly, affectionately nicknamed Z Princess,” reported Zenyatta.com, the website overseen by owners Jerry and Ann Moss. “She was a member of our family and had just begun to make her mark on the world. This is a heartbreaking loss for those who knew and loved her.”

According to a statement from Lane’s End Farm general manager Mike Cline, the filly was humanely euthanized the evening of Oct. 28 at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital after a paddock accident on the farm.

“As caretakers of these Thoroughbreds, we collectively mourn the loss of this beautiful filly,” Cline said. “On behalf of the Farish family and the entire staff at Lane’s End Farm, our condolences go out to Jerry and Ann, Team Zenyatta, and all the great fans who support Zenyatta.”

The Zenyatta.com team requested that “all messages of love and condolences be sent to the Zenyatta office. Team Z would like to lessen the load on Lane’s End Farm and their dedicated staff. Thank you for all of your love and support during this difficult time.”

Condolences may be sent to: Zenyatta.com, 300 E. 54th St. #27A, New York, NY 10022.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88381/weanling-daughter-of-champion-zenyatta-dies#ixzz3Hay5D8bz

Keeneland Posts Dips in Attendance, Handle

Keeneland‘s 2014 fall meet, highlighted by a new dirt surface and the Lexington track’s first $1 million race, closed Saturday, Oct. 25 with the third-highest seasonal attendance in Keeneland history.

On-track attendance for the 17-day stand, held Oct. 3-25, totaled 251,574, third behind the fall record of 266,466 recorded last year. Average daily attendance was 14,798, down 5.6% from last fall’s 15,674.

Attendance was impacted by consistent rain and cooler than normal temperatures on seven of the meet’s opening 10 race days. Average daily attendance rebounded, however, with sunny, dry weather to exceed comparable 2013 figures each of the final six days of the meet.

“Mother Nature challenged us during the opening weeks of the meet, and we thank the legions of loyal fans who came to the races on those less than ideal weather days,” said Bill Thomason, Keeneland’s president and CEO. “We strive to offer every one of our guests the best experience possible. Keeneland is a very special place to go racing in both good and bad weather.”

On-track wagering totaled $17,625,834, dipping 3% from last fall’s $18,173,355. Average daily on-track wagering was $1,036,814, down 3% from $1,069,021 in 2013.

All-sources wagering on Keeneland totaled $122,844,887, a decline of 12% from last year’s $139,660,179.

Keeneland’s new dirt surface, which was installed this summer on the main track, performed exceptionally well in spite of the trials posed by October’s inclement weather.

“The new drainage system was tested from the outset of the meet, but we are very pleased with its ability to handle all the rain,” said Rogers Beasley, Keeneland vice president of racing. “The track played very fair throughout the season, and winners were balanced between speed-favoring and come-from-behind horses, favorites and longshots.”

Thirty-eight horses who raced and/or trained at Keeneland have been pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Among the Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners at Keeneland were Work All Week (Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix), Carpe Diem (Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity), Don’t Tell Sophia (Juddmonte Spinster), Lawn Ranger (Dixiana Bourbon), and Rainha Da Bateria (JPMorgan Chase Jessamine).

The “Fall Stars Saturday” program Oct. 4 produced a thrilling win by fan favorite and reigning two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT), Keeneland’s first $1 million race. Grand Arch, pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), finished second.

Jockey John Velazquez’s victory aboard Wise Dan in the Shadwell Turf Mile was one of three grade I wins he recorded that day, the others coming in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) with Carpe Diem and the First Lady (gr. IT) with Dayatthespa. Velazquez won a total of five races on the Oct. 4 card.

Average daily purses of $651,558 for the meet continued to rank among the nation’s highest. Field size averaged 8.42 starters per race compared to 9.85 in the 2013 fall stand.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey won nine races during the meet to collect their 14th leading owner title and tie with T.A. Grissom for most overall titles won by an owner at Keeneland. The Ramseys received Eclipse Awards as outstanding owner and breeder in 2013 and as outstanding owner in 2004 and 2011.

The race for leading trainer and jockey went down to the wire.

Todd Pletcher and Graham Motion shared leading trainer honors with eight wins each.

This is the third Keeneland training title for six-time Eclipse Award winner Pletcher, who previously earned honors in the Spring of 2005 and 2008. Among Pletcher’s wins was Carpe Diem’s victory in the Breeders’ Futurity.

Motion earned his first leading trainer title at Keeneland. His eight wins were boosted by a three-win day Oct. 16, that was topped by a victory in the Sycamore (gr. IIIT) with Holiday Star.

Rosie Napravnik won 16 races to capture her second straight fall meet riding title over Corey Lanerie with 15. Highlighting her meet were three-win days on Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.

Fall Meet Figures at a Glance (Through Saturday, Oct. 25)
Fall 2014
Fall 2013
% Change
All-Sources Handle on Keeneland
$122,844,887
$139,660,179
-12.04%
Avg. Daily All-Sources Handle on Keeneland
$7,226,170
$8,215,305
-12.04%
Total On-Track Handle
$17,625,834
$18,173,355
-3.01%
Avg. Daily On-Track Handle
$1,036,814
$1,069,021
-3.01%
Total Attendance
251,574
266,466
-5.59%
Avg. Daily Attendance
14,798
15,674
-5.59%

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88268/keeneland-posts-dips-in-attendance-handle#ixzz3HECQk0DX

Handle Down at Challenged Delaware Park Meet

 Handle Down at Challenged Delaware Park Meet

Photo by Chad Harmon

Delaware Park officials reported a decline in pari-mutuel handle for the 2014 racing season that ended Oct. 22, but said they will continue to explore ways to strengthen the racing product in a gambling-congested Mid-Atlantic market.

The track, which has slot machines, table games, and limited sports betting, at one time only competed with Atlantic City casinos for regional business. The addition of casinos in Maryland and Pennsylvania, however, has led to revenue declines, which in turn have led to purse reductions and fewer racing dates.

Thoroughbred purses, according to The Jockey Club Information Systems, totaled $14,819,975 this year versus $18,429,479 last year with 81 racing days. That’s a drop of 19.5%.

The track was scheduled for 81 racing days this year but lost one because the card wouldn’t fill. It is scheduled for the same 81 days in 2015.

Total handle for the meet was $102,834,201, down 10.7% from $115,151,678 last year, officials said. The average per race day of $1,285,428 was down 9.6% from the 2013 average of $1,421,626. Average handle per race was $156,521, down 1.9% from last year.

The decline in average daily handle was due in part to a decrease in the average number of races per day, 8.21 this year compared with 8.91 in 2013. The total number of Thoroughbred races in 2014 was 599, according to TJCIS, but when Arabian races are added the overall total was 657. The total figure was down 9% from 722 last year.

Thoroughbred field size was up slightly from 6.99 in 2013 to 7.11 this year, according to TJCIS. Delaware Park competes with Monmouth Park in New Jersey and Parx Racing in Pennsylvania through its entire meet.

“Purse reductions due to the increased casino competition in the Mid-Atlantic region and the continued foal crop decrease have continued to make things challenging,” Delaware Park executive director of racing John Mooney said. “Despite those challenges, we had a very exciting meet in 2014 and we have much to look forward to next year.

“The combined handle on the Delaware Handicap (gr. I) and Delaware Oaks (gr. II) cards improved dramatically, and there were significant memorable moments on the track as well.  We will continue to explore every option to strengthen our racing product in the current environment.”

Officials said the combined handle on the Delaware Handicap and Delaware Oaks cards was up more than 85% to $6,452,595 compared with $3,439,604 last year.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88207/handle-down-at-challenged-delaware-park-meet#ixzz3H1xDLYXw

Churchill Downs Fall Meet Begins Oct. 26

Kentucky Derby 140 1st turn

Cooler temperatures and the leaves changing colors signify the return of live horse racing to the Louisville area as Churchill Downs, the historic home of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), opens for its 125th fall meet Oct. 26.

The popular 26-day stand, which covers a five-week stretch through Nov. 30, kicks off with the 10th annual “Stars of Tomorrow I” program entirely devoted to 2-year-olds.

The 10-race opening day program is headlined by a pair of one-mile overnight stakes—the Street Sense (race 4 at 2:06 p.m. ET) and Rags to Riches for fillies (race 9 at 4:44 p.m.). Both races serve as local steppingstones to the Kentucky Jockey Club and Golden Rod for fillies (both gr. II) on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program Nov. 29.

The successful Stars of Tomorrow programs have helped launch the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including 33 grade I winners and 19 millionaires.

First post Sunday, as is the case for most of the meeting, is 12:40 p.m. (all times Eastern). The National Weather Service forecast for Louisville calls for ideal fall conditions for the opener: sunny skies with a high near 68.

The fall stand includes 13 stakes races cumulatively worth a little more than $2 million. With a compact 26-day schedule and not as many competing race meets at year’s end, the meet traditionally offers larger fields. Last fall, the average field size was 8.84 horses per race, compared to the 7.29 and 7.70 at this year’s spring and September meets, respectively.

The anchor of the lucrative stakes program comes Nov. 28 with the 140th running of the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I). The 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds and up annually lures some of the top older horses in North America and is one of five stakes events to be contested over Thanksgiving weekend.

After Sunday’s opener, live racing will be conducted on a Wednesday-Sunday schedule with dark days on Mondays and Tuesdays. Most race days will begin at 12:40 p.m. ET and feature 10 live races. Eleven-race programs are scheduled for opening day and Nov. 14. Twelve-race cards are scheduled for Nov. 27-29.

Churchill Downs will have special post times for Oct. 31 (Halloween) and Nov. 1 so the races coincide but don’t overlap with a simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park. The Friday card will begin at 2 p.m. ET, while the Saturday action will commence at 2:15 p.m. ET. All Breeders’ Cup races will be shown between live races on Churchill Downs’ Big Board, the world’s largest 4K ultra-high definition video board.

The Friday, Nov. 14 program is “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois & Old Forester: Shaken, Not Stirred.” It is the lone night racing program of the meet with a first post of 4:30 p.m. ET and a nod to James Bond films.

The only other special post time is an 11:30 a.m. early start for Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs. The traditional feast is a Louisville tradition since 1969 where more than 7,000 turkey dinners are served with all the trimmings, the largest number anywhere in the region.

The defending fall meet champs are jockey Corey Lanerie (36 wins), trainer Mike Maker (16), and owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey (18).

Larry Collmus will describe action in his final meet as track announcer at Churchill Downs. In addition to being the voice of the Gulfstream Park winter meet he’ll be the NYRA announcer starting in April 2015. While Collmus is attending to Breeders’ Cup duties for NBC, Mike Battaglia, the voice of Churchill Downs from 1978-96, will substitute Oct. 29-Nov. 2.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88217/churchill-downs-fall-meet-begins-oct-26#ixzz3H1vyQirv

California’s Golden Eagle Farm Set to Close

Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, Calif., founded and owned by the late John and Betty Mabee, is scheduled to close Oct. 31 after 40 years of operation, according to Golden Eagle racing manager Janine McCullough.
The Golden Eagle-owned stallion Stormin Fever   will be moved to Rancho Temescal in Piru, Calif.
The Mabees, who won Eclipse Awards in 1991, 1997, and 1998 as the nation’s outstanding breeders, grew Golden Eagle from 197 acres to 568 acres and were also California’s leading breeders for several years. They bred horses in both California and Kentucky. John Mabee died in 2002, followed by his wife in 2010, and their son, Larry, in 2012.
“The family has put a lot of thought into this decision since the passing of Larry Mabee in December 2012,” said McCullough in a statement from the farm.
California-bred gelding Best Pal was bred at Golden Eagle and is buried on the property. The 1988 son of HabitonyUbetshedied, by King Pellinore, inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, earned $5,668,245. His victories included the 1992 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), 1993 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), and the inaugural Pacific Classic in 1991.
The Mabees’ other major runners included General Challenge, Dramatic Gold, Excellent Meeting, and Event of the Year. Though Golden Eagle has reduced its holdings over the years, a third generation, Larry’s son, John R. Mabee, has raced such horses as 2014 Tiznow Stakes winner Storm Fighter, a son of Stormin Fever   bred by his father.
John R. Mabee plans to continue racing in the Golden Eagle silks, according to a statement from the farm.
 “Larry’s son, John R. Mabee, is the one of three children with interest in the business,” McCullough said in the statement. “(He) grew up spending many days going to the track with his grandfather and has a passion for the sport. He genuinely loves the horses and (is) excited about continuing the famous Golden Eagle silks. We have several exciting horses in training right now and look forward to 2015.”

McCullough said she will stay on as racing manager and continue to manage the stallion Stormin Fever.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88174/californias-golden-eagle-farm-set-to-close#ixzz3Gvbxg0iS

O’Neill and Racing’s Slow Regulatory Process

Within one week following a June 13, 2013, race at Belmont Park, the New York State Gaming Commission Equine Drug Testing Program had determined a horse had tested positive for a non-therapeutic drug with a high potential to affect race performance.

The horse in question, Wind of Bosphorus, trained by Doug O’Neill, finished second in that race at Belmont. O’Neill said he was informed of the positive within three weeks of the race.

The drug, a sedative, is in the highest penalty class (Class A) of the Association of Racing Commissioners’ International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances and would seemingly call for swift, decisive action. That wasn’t the case.

Sanctions in the case, a $10,000 fine and 45-day suspension, weren’t announced until early October 2014. The suspension issued by the NYSGC was not scheduled to begin until Nov. 3, 2014, more than 16 months after the race in question. The sanctions were not handed down by the NYSGC; they were the result of a negotiated agreement.

The NYSGC didn’t schedule a hearing on the matter for nearly nine months after the race in question when an order to show cause was sent to O’Neill March 10, 2014. The order called on O’Neill and any legal representation to appear before a hearing officer April 29-30, nearly 10 1/2 months after the race in question. The letter to O’Neill notes that he could face license suspension or revocation.

In an emailed response to questions about the drawn out time between the positive and the show-cause letter, NYSGC director of communications Lee Park said some of the nine months was used to investigate the finding. In an email, Park cited NYSGC Equine Drug Testing Program protocol.

“After the investigation is completed and all other information is gathered and studied, the licensee if appropriate, is assessed a penalty from the state steward or presiding judge,” reads the policy in regard to the time frame following a laboratory report of a drug positive.

Park also said the O’Neill camp slowed the process.

“The state steward wanted to give Mr. O’Neill a chance to present his side of the story, and his attorney was taking a very long time doing so,” Park said.

O’Neill said he used some of the time to determine what had happened. He said he was having a difficult time understanding how the positive had occurred and did receive time to look into the matter.

He said he didn’t make the trip to New York for racing June 13, 2013, and had to interview staff about the matter. He said Oxazepam is not a drug that is used by his stable, and he was trying to determine how the positive occurred.

The scheduled April 29-30 show-cause hearing would have been open to the public, but the NYSGC said O’Neill and his attorney, Karen Murphy, “immediately sought a temporary restraining order in State of New York Supreme Court, County of Schenectady.” That action prevented the commission from moving forward with the hearing.

The court hearing on the restraining order was conducted May 12, 2014, nearly 11 months after the race in question. The court ruled the commission could move forward with the process.

“I think clearly the commission has jurisdiction, and beyond that, they did not in my opinion wrongfully exercise their initiative here under the law as it’s stated,” ruled justice Barry Kramer. “I think they have a right to go forward. I don’t think a writ of prohibition applies.”

The NYSGC said O’Neill and his attorney then requested a series of adjournments, which were granted by the hearing officer and prolonged any resolution of the matter. The commission began settlement negotiations with O’Neill at that time as well.

A hearing finally was conducted Sept. 15, and the hearing officer granted a final two-week adjournment to Sept. 29. Before Sept. 29, an agreement was reached to settle the matter.

Under the agreement announced Oct. 2 between the NYSGC and O’Neill, the trainer was levied a 45-day suspension in New York set to begin Nov. 3.

The delay between the June 13, 2013, race day in which the positive occurred and the show-cause hearing March 10, 2014, may have benefitted O’Neill.

During that nearly nine-month period from June 2013 to March 2014, O’Neill saddled Goldencents   to victory in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) and five other Breeders’ Cup starters at Santa Anita Park. This year O’Neill is barred from participating in Breeders’ Cup, which prohibits participation of trainers who during the 12 months preceding the World Championships are found by any racing regulatory agency to have violated a racing regulation prohibiting the possession or use of any Class I or II substance (non-therapeutic medications with a high probability of affecting race performance) that falls in the Class A or B penalty guidelines.

That Breeders’ Cup rule kicks in when final disposition is reached, which allows trainers time for the appeal process. O’Neill’s appeal process didn’t end until the agreement was announced earlier in October.

On Oct. 9 O’Neill received an additional 45 days in California because his positive in New York violated terms of an earlier probationary agreement. The California suspension began immediately, but because some of the dates overlap, the two 45-day suspensions together will actually result in just 70 days on the shelf. The trainer is allowed to return Dec. 19.

For O’Neill, this year’s California suspension followed a Class 3 violation in 2012 for total carbon dioxide that resulted in a 180-day suspension, with 135 of those days stayed and 18 months of probation. A condition of the stay required O’Neill not to receive any further drug violations at the Class I, II, or III level during the probation.

The New York drug positive fell within the probationary time, but New York didn’t issue its order to show cause until March 10, 2014, and the NYSGC penalties weren’t announced until October.

The current suspension from the CHRB also included 90 days that were stayed and an 18-month probation with the same notice that the stayed days could be added if a further Class I, II, or III violation occurs. This time the CHRB made a point of saying the date of a positive test will be the deciding event in the 18-month timeframe, not the date of complaint or adjudication.

In an e-mailed response to a series of questions, the NYSGC did not directly answer if other drug positives in the state currently are in the investigative process.

In an Oct. 9 statement on his website, O’Neill said he could have pursued the New York matter further but didn’t want to involve his owners in the process.

“Fighting these board decisions not only costs a lot of money, but far more importantly to me, I’d have to involve all the horse owners and everybody else I work with,” O’Neill said. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate and respect the trusted relationships I am so privileged to have with our team’s horse owners. And the last thing in the world I’m going to do is intentionally drag them in the same mud that I’ve been pulled in to. It’s absolutely not fair to them.

“I understand why the boards take the actions they do and I’ll deal with it on my own.”

O’Neill suggested a possible reason for the positive could be stall contamination at Belmont.

“To that, we will institute some new policies in our barn which will heighten security and will include the professional disinfecting of stalls anytime a horse ships in or switches stalls,” O’Neill said.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88155/oneill-and-racings-slow-regulatory-process#ixzz3Grhf6638

Hillstar Shoots to Canadian International Win

Hillstar Shoots to Canadian International Win

Photo: Michael Burns – Hillstar wins the Pattison Canadian International.

British invader Hillstar blasted to the lead approaching midstretch and held on firmly for victory under jockey Ryan Moore in the $1 million Pattison Canadian International (gr. IT) (VIDEO) Oct. 19 on the Woodbine turf.

Hillstar was the 6-5 favorite in the field of nine, defeated the grinding Big Blue Kitten by about three-quarters of a length in a time of 2:29 flat on good turf for the 1 1/2-mile distance. With the victory, Hillstar surpassed $1 million in career earnings in his first North American start.

The 4-year-old son of Danehill Dancer races for Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and is trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who won his second Canadian International following Singspiel in 1996. Southcourt Stud bred Hillstar in Great Britain out of the Mark of Esteem mare Crystal Star.

Hillstar provided the second Canadian International winner in a row for the international champion rider Moore, who won last year’s race with Joshua Tree.

“I was out a little bit too early but he was fine and plenty and it was going to take a good horse to get by him,” said Moore. “Like Brown Panther, he (Hillstar) was the best horse in the race and just felt we would keep it as simple as we could.

“I am sure the boss (trainer Stoute) had this race as a target from a long way out and it was always something we had in the backs of our minds if things were going well. I moved a bit too early today but he was the best horse and we kept it straightforward again.”

Hillstar won his initial grade or group I race and became the first favorite to win the Canadian International since Champs Elysees in 2009.

Big Blue Kitten was second, with Dynamic Sky third. The race’s complexion changed completely when morning line Favorite Brown Panther was scratched after dumping jockey Richard Kingscote prior to the start and running off.

Hillstar won last year’s King Edward VII (Eng-II) at Ascot in June 2013 before finishing third in the prestigious King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (gr. IT), both at 1 1/2 miles. The bay colt was coming off a group III tally in the Arc Trial Legacy Cup at Newberry Sept. 20.

Sunday, Hillstar raced midpack for the opening mile as Reporting Star, tracked by The Pizza Man, set the pace. Reporting Star negotiated the opening half mile in :50.34 and the mile in 1:40.10 before The Pizza Man took control approaching the quarter pole in 2:04.54.

The Pizza Man took the field into the stretch as Hillstar, who advanced to fourth on the outside rounding the final bend, loomed into contention. Three wide coming into the stretch, Hillstar took command after sweeping past The Pizza Man and finished in a drive for Moore all the way to the wire.

Big Blue Kitten, who was tracking Hillstar all the way into the stretch, rallied willingly for Joel Rosario and was cutting into Hillstar’s advantage as they reached the wire.

“I had a good trip,” Rosario said about runner-up Big Blue Kitten.” It took him a long time to get into the race, but he ran well. I though the horse that won the race was the best horse today, and I’m glad we got second.”

Dynamic Sky, who was last early under Patrick Husbands after a slow start, came on gamely for third, nosing out The Pizza Man while finishing two lengths behind the runner-up.

Suntracer was fifth, followed by Reporting Star, War Dancer, Pyrite Mountain, and O’Prado Ole.

Hillstar recorded his fourth lifetime win in 15 starts and boosted his career bankroll to $1,192,400 with the winner’s share of $531,900.

Under equal weights of 126 pounds, Hillstar paid $4.50, $2.70, and $2.50 across the board, keying a chalky $13.80 exacta with the 5-2 second choice Big Blue Kitten. Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s multiple grade I winner returned $2.80 and $2.80 for the place, while Dynamic Sky was $4.50 to show.

Brown Panther, who was also making his U.S. debut after winning the Irish St. Leger (Ire-I) Sept 14, was fractious prior to the race and bucked off jockey Kingscote near the starting gate. He got loose shortly thereafter and shockingly bolted past the starting gate, taking off around the course, with the remounted Kingscote, his feet out of the stirrups, unable to control him.

Kingscote was eventually dropped on the backside by Brown Panther, who then continued his journey alone around the turf course before finally being corralled by the course outrider.

“Just before the break, the horse got wound up and unfortunately he got me off,” a dejected Kingscote said afterward. “When I got back on, I tried to keep him relaxed and as soon as I let go he bolted. There wasn’t much I could do after that. He’s never done that before. He sometimes dances about and gets on his toes, but he’s never been that extreme.”

“It’s very disappointing,” said Tom Dascombe, trainer of Brown Panther. “Well done to the winner and the connections of Caspar Netscher (Nearctic Stakes winner). It wasn’t our day today.”

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88120/hillstar-shoots-to-canadian-international-win#ixzz3GeBs2nyk

Monmouth to Begin Sports Wagering Oct. 26

Following approval by Gov. Chris Christie, Monmouth Park is to begin offering and accepting wagers on sporting contests and athletic events Oct. 26 at the New Jersey racetrack.

“We thank Governor Christie for his leadership on this issue,” said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park.

“The New Jersey horse racing industry and the associated agriculture support services is a $1 billion industry and is responsible for 13,000 jobs in the Garden State, as well as the open spaces and green acres that are the direct result of horse racing,” Drazin said. “The Governor’s signature on S2460 earlier today is a wire-to-wire winner for horse racing, the gaming industry, and the people of New Jersey.”

In 2011, Garden State voters decided they no longer wanted New Jersey laws that made it illegal to engage in sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and at the state’s racetracks. After two years of litigation in the federal courts, a definitive interpretation as to the scope and meaning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was handed down.

In that decision, the court stated that it does “not read PASPA to prohibit New Jersey from repealing its ban on sports wagering.” The court went on to state that “it is left up to each state to decide how much of a law enforcement priority it wants to make of sports gambling, or what the exact contours of the prohibition will be.”

Following a vote in the New Jersey Senate of 27-1 Oct. 14 and in the General Assembly, 73-4, Christie signed the sports betting bill, thus paving the way for Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey’s racetracks to commence immediately.

“I want to express our thanks and gratitude to the entire New Jersey Legislature,” said Drazin. “We can’t wait to welcome new fans to the racetrack as we embark on this exciting new era in the long and storied history of Monmouth Park.”

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88081/monmouth-to-begin-sports-wagering-oct-26#ixzz3GSYenm7q

Australian Apprentice Jockey Dies After Fall

Australian apprentice jockey Caitlin Forrest died Oct. 15 after a fall at Murray Bridge race course near Adelaide, the second female jockey to die in recent days.

Forrest’s mount Colla Voce fell, bringing down three other horses, and she was flung to the ground ahead of the trailing pack. Forrest, 19, was airlifted to Royal Adelaide Hospital but died from her injuries.

Carly-Mae Pye, 26, died a day earlier from injuries sustained when the horse she was riding broke its front legs during a training run, throwing her head-first into the track.

Pye was riding Oct. 13 in a jump-out, which simulates the start of a race from the gate in non-race conditions, at Callaghan Park at Rockhampton in Queensland state.

Australian Racing Board chief executive Peter McGauran said that authorities will continue to research improved safety equipment, but that racing has become safer in recent years, despite the two deaths this week.

“Tracks have never been safer with plastic running rails…but we still have catastrophic injuries and losses of life,” McGauran told a Sydney radio station. “Safety equipment is better than it has ever been but with 500 to 600 kilogram (approximately 1,100 to 1,300 pounds) horses going that fast, the jockeys are always at risk.”

A 17-year-old American apprentice, Juan Saez, also died in a race fall at an Indiana track Oct. 15.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88051/australian-apprentice-jockey-dies-after-fall#ixzz3GMOlR6lP